Joseph Sutton’s Bradester tracked the pace throughout before edging clear of Maggi Moss’s Grand Contender by
1 ¼ lengths in the lane to earn his first stakes victory in the Grade
III Mineshaft Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots,
stopping the clock in 1:43.80 for the 1 1/16 mile journey.
Ridden by Rosie Napravnik for trainer Eddie Kenneally,
Bradester entered the Mineshaft off a frontrunning score against
second-level allowance company at Gulfstream in January. He was making
his first start against stakes foes since finishing second in the Grade
II Indiana Derby last October.
“We sat in a great position,” said winning rider Napravnik, “and he
wanted to wait, so it took some urging to get him to go past, but he’s
just a classy horse.”
Bradester returned $15.40, $6.60, and $5.40 and increased his career earnings to $305,054 with the $90,000 winner’s share.
Grand Contender, trained by Tom Amoss and ridden by
James Graham, cruised on an uncontested lead through splits of :24.08,
:48.31, and 1:12.31 and stayed on for second, 1 ¾ lengths clear of Jim
Tafel’s Fordubai, last-out winner of the Louisiana
Handicap for trainer Greg Geier and jockey Robby Albarado. Grand
Contender returned $6.00 and $3.80, while Fordubai paid $3.80.
Ground Transport, Afford, race favorite Prayer for Relief, Micromanage, Stephanoatsee, and Mister Marti Gras completed the order of finish.